Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Pima unemployment up despite job growth

Despite employment growth, the jobless rate in Pima County jumped six-tenths of a percentage point last month, according to a report released Thursday.

The Arizona Department of Commmerce report shows that Pima County posted a net gain of 3,400 jobs in February compared with January. Most of the gains were in government.

Despite those gains, which the report calls less than expected, the unemployment rate reached 6.6 percent.

Other areas that gained jobs in February include restaurants, bars and hotels, health services and professional and business services. Much of the gains can be tied to seasonal tourism and tax preparation season.

The construction industry lost another 300 jobs, and clothing and general stores also lost 300 jobs.

Arizona’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent and the national average is 8.1 percent.

Dennis Doby, an economist for the Arizona Department of Commerce, said the state unemployment rate should start to improve in the latter half of the year if there are no catastrophic shocks to the national or global economies.

Staff and wire reports

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